by CCDC Chair Dick Bingham
Over the past few weeks we have watched as Republican state committees across the country have methodically sought to remove diverse voices from their ranks — censuring established Republican officials who have dutifully carried forward conservative causes for decades. Ironically, as these State Committees act to purge their party of all but the most extreme Trump loyalists, they simultaneously decry the “Liberal cancel culture” to anyone willing to listen.
Here in Pennsylvania, we are seeing more of the same — a party once defined by ideas, flawed as they may be, has unraveled into a cult that deems Senator Pat Toomey, a lifelong conservative Republican, not “Republican” enough. Senator Toomey is on the brink of being censured by the State party for his vote in the impeachment trial, with the Chair of the Pennsylvania Republicans going so far as to say that they didn’t want Senator Toomey to vote his conscience or “do the right thing.”
As the Republicans fail to learn any lessons from the 2020 election, the subsequent losses in the Georgia Senate races, or the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol and continue to embrace Trumpism, we Democrats need to be sure we continue to be the Big Tent party and don’t fall into the same trap that is destroying the GOP.
I am proud to belong to a party that welcomes the steel worker from Fairless Hills, the teacher from West Chester, and the tech executive from Philadelphia. We thrive when we embrace diversity — whether it be of ideas, gender identity, race, religion, or economic status.
As Democrats, this is our time to add to our coalition of voices who stood up loud and clear and declared that America was better than the darkness of the past four years. While Republicans chase away members, let’s expand the ranks of our party. There is no question that we have a set of core ideals and values that have differentiated us for years and we must stand by those, but we have an unprecedented opportunity to move our nation forward, and we should take all the help we can get.
We cannot be lulled into the petty bickering and intraparty squabbles that are consuming Republicans. Yes, with a big tent and diversity comes disagreement — and that is a good thing. But let us be respectful in our disagreement, let us be forward thinking in our ideals, and let us use facts and science to formulate our policies. And at the end of the day, let us come together with a united front and help make our county, state, and nation stronger.
(also in Daily Local News, Feb. 19, 2021)